Lower carbon alternative drainage scheme

The BAM Nuttall site team at A43 Abthorpe Roundabout Improvement Scheme opted to utilise a lower carbon alternative drainage scheme by substituting traditional concrete drainage for large diameter polypipe plastic products.

The key benefits of implementing this change included reduced installation time and reduced manual handling but the change also proved to be significantly less carbon intensive as a result of reduced use of concrete.

Other benefits include:

  • Greatly reduced CO²e (embedded carbon) impact – the change mitigated 2,833 tonnes of carbon from the original drainage design, representing an estimated 10% saving in the context of the whole scheme.
  • Lower costs associated with the installation efficiencies achieved with in excess of £120k saved.
  • Polypipe is 94% lighter than alternate concrete and clay products which means ‘lighter’ specification bedding and surround material can be utilised as well as downsizing plant and equipment used in installation. This also enables fewer deliveries needed since units can be moved in greater bulk. This all helps to reduce embedded carbon in the design.
  • The product outperforms concrete and clay due to its ability to cope with much more substantial ground movement.
  • Polypipe is made from a mixture of recycled and virgin materials but is increasingly being made completely from recycled materials. It is also 100% recyclable at the end of its life.
  • Pipework can be produced in longer lengths meaning fewer joints required and reduced risk


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Entry submitted by BAM Nuttall

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